Wrath of Magnus Review: Troops: Tzaangors


Hey, everyone. Chandler here with a look at the new blue Beastmen of Tzeentch for Warhammer 40k from the Wrath of Magnus and Traitor Legions supplements, the Tzaangors.  For more battle reports, tactics, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner.

Tzaangors are Tzeentchian mutated beast-men who follow in the service of the master of change and his arcane sorcerers.  They are pursuers of knowledge primarily focusing on the collection of ancient artefacts and relics.  Along with being pretty sweet looking models, they also come with some pretty decent rules, giving Thousand Sons players some cheap bodies to hide their Exalted Sorcerers within.



Tzaangors don’t really seem like anything special at first glance. A cheap Mark of Tzeentch unit akin to Chaos Cultists.  In fact, with the presence of Cultists in the Chaos Space Marines Codex, they hardly seem like a necessary addition at all really.  For 70 points, however, you get a unit that is slightly better statwise than a Cultist unit.  They have mostly the same statline as a Chaos Cultist only their Weapon Skill and Toughness are both 4, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but goes a long way in helping keep them alive for a round or two of shooting, especially when they are clinging to cover.  They also come stock with two close combat weapons, giving each one of them two attacks, which at WS4, isn’t half bad considering their points.  They come with a miniscule Leadership 7, however so it’s not a bad idea to upgrade one to a Twistbray to get to Leadership 8, unless you plan on throwing an Exalted Sorcerer, or some other Fearless or high leadership character with them.  Additionally you can field these guys in blobs of up to 30 in a squad, each for 7 points per model.


As mentioned above, they come stock with two close combat weapons, but for 1 point per model can replace these for a chainsword and auto-pistol.  Unfortunately these are their only wargear options which really limits their effectiveness quite a bit.

Special Rules:

Tzaangors come with two special rules of note, the Mark of Tzeentch, giving them a 6++ Invulnerable Save (as they have none without it), and the Relic Hunters rule.  Relic Hunters allows you to re-roll failed To-Hit rolls in close combat against enemy models equipped with a relic (or equivalent).  While that’s a pretty interesting special rule, and certainly entertains their fluff, it’s not all that appealing considering it is a model-to-model basis, which means only those Tzaangors actually engaged with a character holding a relic can make use of it. Still being WS 4 does help, as they’ll hit most things they might face on 4s in combat.  Because their Strength is only 3, it also helps give more dice to roll to hopefully sneak some more wounds in as well.



Tzaangors are an interesting unit, if for no other reason than their aesthetic look really, but they do have some limitations that make them less appealing than your standard Chaos Cultist.  First off, consider if you actually purchase auto-pistols for Tzaangors (something Cultists come stock with) then you’re at 80 points.  Add in a Twistbray on top of that and you’re at 90 points. Nearly 100 points for a Leadership 8 unit with a 6++ isn’t that great when you consider a Cultist has the same leadership and wargear, for 30 points cheaper with a Mark of Tzeentch. Sure, Tzaangors have the added benefit of being WS and T4, but is that worth 30 points per squad over Cultists? Probably not.  If you’re just looking for some cheap obsec units in a CAD to hold down objectives in cover, then you’re better off sticking with the ol’ faithful Chaos Cultists.

That being said, because they are T4 they make great ablative wounds for units that can do some real damage like Exalted Sorcerers.  Considering Exalted Sorcerers are also Fearless, you won’t have to worry about the Tzaangors running away either when they are attached.  They won’t get a benefit from Blessing of Tzeentch as they don’t have Veterans of the Long War, however so without some help from psychic powers, they won’t get any better saves.  Endurance is a nice power to cast as a defense because they are T4 it means that most of the time they’ll get that 4+ Feel No Pain roll, which can go a long way in keeping your Exalted Sorcerer’s meat shields in the fight and on the table.  Honestly, this is probably the better way to utilize them if you plan on running them in Thousand Sons Combined Arms Detachments, or using the Tzaangor Warherd Formation.


The biggest drawback to running a Grand Coven Detachment is the fact that the Tzaangor Warherd Formation is not a Core choice for the Detachment. Instead, you have to spend a lot of points on either of the other choices, not leaving you much room for the inclusion of the Warherd, as the Formation without any upgrades at all comes in at 370 points. Yes, that is a lot of bodies on the table, and the Formation gives you some nice special rules such as Fleet and the ability to Run and Charge in the same turn, but the main issue is that the Grand Coven has very little that can deal with armor values, thus the Auxiliary slots will often be filled with some heavy hitting units like Maulerfiends or Chaos Predators with Lascannons.

Personally, I find the best way to use these guys is just stock 70 points as compulsory Troops units in a CAD as meatshields for the Exalted Sorcerer.  They gain obsec which can become a pretty significant threat with the Sorcerer attached, and it gives your Exalted Sorcerer some wounds to plow through so he can get up the field and unleash Psychic hell.  You can get the same effect using Cultists, but because of T3, the Cultists are not the best option in that role.  Another bonus in a Thousand Sons CAD is that, while more expensive than their Cultist counterparts, Tzaangors are still a fairly cheap Troops choice, which in an army inflated with high-cost units, can be a huge mitigating factor. Throwing down 2 or 3 of these units each with an Exalted Sorcerer attached, gives you a good amount of options and board control letting the Exalted Sorcerers move up the table and deal the real damage in the Psychic Phase.

The only real drawback to the whole “meatshield” tactic, is that because they come with the Mark of Tzeentch, you’re limited in what Independent Characters you can attach to them.  Only other Mark of Tzeentch units can go with them, leaving you with the option for say a Bike Lord with Seer’s Bane, or the aforementioned Sorcerers.

Overall, I think Tzaangors definitely have their uses, but are they worth investing in? I’d say if your plan is to build a Grand Coven then no, absolutely not. If you want to run Thousand Sons CADs and need a decent and cheap escort for your Sorcerers, then they can be pretty decent options.

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off of retail, every day!

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About Chandler

Sometimes I play 40k. Sometimes I drink beer. Oftentimes I do both. I host an annual ITC Grand Tournament, Come the Apocalypse GT, as well as a podcast called Come the Apocalypse - a Warhammer 40k Podcast which you can find on iTunes or the Google Play Music store.

9 Responses to “Wrath of Magnus Review: Troops: Tzaangors”

  1. Beau February 25, 2017 9:46 am #

    I am glad they released these models. They have some fun potential. The biggest thing I can see for using them is a blob with exalted sorcerer in them casting forewarning on the unit to give everyone that 3++. It is nice that they are t4 just in case your joined sorcerer gets hit by a blast he is less likely to get instant deathed than if he was with cultists.

    However. You are paying 2 points per model vs cultist for +1 t and +1 ws. How often do you see cultists take that 2 point nurgle upgrade to get 1 more toughness? Maybe we will see that more with DG but I doubt it.

    I like the Tzaangor formation because it is actually self sufficient. Max it out and you get some good benefits too, which is actually cheap in points. Exalted Sorcerer, 3 units of tzaangors, and 6 spawn units. Take Ahriman’s exiles on disks alongside it to join to a unit of spawn and infiltrate the tzaangors while giving your game a psychic presence. There should be enough points left over to squeeze in a renegade knight or 2.

    • Threllen February 25, 2017 9:26 pm #

      If the Tzaangor Warherd was a core formation for Thousand Sons I think it would be awesome. A great way to field the overall detachment while still saving points for an awesome auxiliary like the Rehati War Sect (although I don’t think you could fit both in an 1850 tournament list).

      It’s still pretty nice considering it makes Tzaangors really, really fast for footslogging infantry with the ability to run and charge (with fleet). And you can max the units out for as little as 474 points to get the favoured of tzeentch rule.

  2. MidnightSun February 25, 2017 1:34 pm #

    I just love the idea of the Hawkmen swarming over a Trygon and pulling it’s teeth out because they want to hoard the Maw-Claws, or tearing some poor MC’s arms off because they want the Reaper of Obliterax.

  3. Threllen February 25, 2017 9:18 pm #

    I feel like they could have shaved one more point off these guys to make them 6PPM and they would have been in a pretty good spot. The T4 is nice and all compared to a Cultist’s base T3 but Cultists can pick up MoN or MoT and still be pretty similar units for cheaper. And the fact you never see someone pick up either of those upgrades on Cultists tells you it’s usually better to just save the points.

    It would be interesting to run a 20-30 man strong tarpit with them, though, if you could pick up a fearless character and Forewarning. Problem with Tzeentch CSM is they get screwed by the bogus “must roll one power on your god table” meaning an ML3 exalted sorc still gets two rolls on Divination at most to fish for it.

    • Beau February 25, 2017 11:25 pm #

      That’s why I mentioned Ahriman’s exiles my friend. Might want to fish with Ahriman too.

    • abusepuppy February 27, 2017 2:38 am #

      Tzaangors are the same price per model as Cultists with Mark of Tzeentch, and they have several advantages in the statline. I would agree that both units probably “need” to be cheaper, but realistically it matches the price point GW thinks they should be at currently.

      Tzaangors standing on a Skyshield are pretty hilariously resilient. 3++ save on every dude.

      • Threllen February 27, 2017 6:47 am #

        Cultists w/ MoT are still cheaper than Tzaangors.

        Cultists are 4PPM base and MoT only adds 1.

        Granted, a 10 man squad of Cultists would still be 60 points with the mark and Tzaangors are only 10 points more expensive at 70.

        But that’s because Cultists are forced to take their champion and Tzaangors don’t have that cost built in.

        Tzaangors have some statline advantages, yes, but Cultists have the advantage of the increased leadership and the pistol baked into their cost already. If Tzaangors want to match that they have to make themselves even more expensive. Of course, the point is that often you dont want to waste money on those upgrades.

  4. Horton February 26, 2017 6:41 am #

    I like Tzaangors but your analysis is correct. They do not do that much, and while better than cultists, their points really add up. I do find it interesting though, that they can go up to 30 models. I would love to try out a tzaangor horde army using the warherd, some giant tzaangor blobs and some exalted sorcerers. It may not be the most powerful, but I think it would be a lot of fun. With all that being said, if you can manage to get forewarning cast onto a big blob of these guys, then suddenly they all have a 3++ due to MoT. That could be quite good, but really eats up points! Thousand Sons really are an army that does best in games over 2000 points. Their units are very expensive, but some of the combos are incredible.

    Great review!

  5. Toranagaaa February 26, 2017 1:23 pm #

    In Age of Sigmar their rules are incredible – so if you play both systems, that gives you a good reason to get a few sets of them. Bring them in a competitive AoS Tzeentch list, and save them for the more friendly games of 40k.

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